17 Short Walks on the Heysen Trail

The Heysen Trail stretches 1,200km from Cape Jervis to the Flinders Ranges. We’ve listed some of the great short hikes you can walk along the Heysen Trail, ranging from a few hours to a full day.

The Friends of the Heysen Trail conduct a walking program to walk the entire 1,200 kilometres over six years. Other hikers walk the entire trail over a six week period, camping out along the way. In last place on the list we have included special mention of a 5 day highlight section of the trail along the South Coast.

Throughout October we’re celebrating walking with #walktoberSA

We’ve listed some of the best walks on the Heysen Trail below, or view 242 hikes in our Find a Place to Walk directory.

17 Short Walks on the Heysen Trail

Waitpinga Cliffs to Kings Beach, Heysen Trail1.

Waitpinga Cliffs to Kings Beach, Heysen Trail

11.5km, 4-6 hours one way

A spectacular 11.5km trail from Waitpinga Campground, along the Waitpinga Cliffs. Keep an eye out for white-bellied sea-eagles, one of a just a few breeding pairs of sea-eagles on the mainland inhabit the cliffs here.


Deep Creek Circuit Hike2.

Deep Creek Circuit Hike

12km, 4-7 hour hike

Circuit hike taking in a waterfall with permanent pool, coastal views, rocky beach with creek outlet, well maintained trails with a diversity of ecosystems. Yacka hillsides, grassy hilltops, humid forest, tall stands of eucaplypts.

The hike is made up of four components, which can be hiked by themselves as shorter hikes:


Mount Lofty to Bridgewater on the Heysen Trail3.

Mount Lofty to Bridgewater on the Heysen Trail

7.5km, 2-3 hours one way (15km return, 4-6 hours return)

Highlight walk of the Heysen Trail, from Mount Lofty Summit, views over Piccadilly Valley, the forest in Mount George Conservation Park, two tunnels, the Fairy Garden in Deanery Reserve and on to Old Bridgewater Mill.


Heysen Trail Mt Lofty circuit4.

Heysen Trail Mt Lofty circuit

7.5km, 3-5 hours

Experience a Heysen Trail highlight on this 7.5km loop hike. The hike includes the summit of Mt Lofty, quaint cottages and small-scale farming in Piccadilly Valley, a walk through the Mt Lofty Botanical Gardens, and the stringybark forests of Cleland Conservation Park.


Kings Head Hike, Heysen Trail5.

Kings Head Hike, Heysen Trail

6.5km, 2 hours one way

Coastal walking with a few hills. Follow the path along Franklin Parade from the Heysen Trail trailhead at Kent Reserve. Walking towards the Bluff, the trail continues past Whalers Way behind Rosetta Head (The Bluff), past Petrel Cove and along the Victor Harbor Heritage Trail to Kings Beach and Kings Head.


Heysen Trail Walk with Kids to the Fairy Garden, Bridgewater6.

Heysen Trail Walk with Kids to the Fairy Garden, Bridgewater

2km, 2 km return, 2 hours return

Take the kids on a 1km each-way hike from a playground to the fairy garden at Deanery Reserve. Walk through a tunnel, see ducks and play with fairies.


Montacute Conservation Park Hike7.

Montacute Conservation Park Hike

6.3km, 2 hours

This hike through the rugged hills of Montacute Conservation Park is challenging, but rewarding with excellent views.


Mount Brown Summit Hike8.

Mount Brown Summit Hike

14.9km, 4-7 hours

A circuit hike along the Heysen Trail up to the summit of Mt Brown. The trail is well marked and gradually climbs the summit, taking in Waukarie Falls and Bald Hill Viewpoint.


St Mary Peak Hike, Wilpena Pound9.

St Mary Peak Hike, Wilpena Pound

19km, 9 hours return

Challenging hike to the summit of St Mary Peak, the highest mountain in the Flinders Ranges. Rewarding panoramic views. Can be done as a two day hike.


Mount Remarkable Summit Hike10.

Mount Remarkable Summit Hike

15.4km, 4 – 5 hours return (7.7km one way, 15.4km return)

Hike along the Heysen Trail up to the summit of Mt Remarkable. The trail is gently graded as it contours up to the summit. You can start the trail from the main street of Melrose, walking up to the Monument on the bitumen road past the caravan park. When walking across the scree slopes watch out for the remnants of a small plane that crashed here in 1980.


Blowhole Beach – Cobbler Hill – Marrano Creek Hike11.

Blowhole Beach – Cobbler Hill – Marrano Creek Hike

6.7km, 2-3 hours

Taking in the scrub, sandy beaches and open coastal hills of Deep Creek Conservation Park. Walk through scrub and wildlife, visit the sandy Blowhole Beach, and return via open grassy hills.


Boat Harbor Hike12.

Boat Harbor Hike

7.8km, 4 hours return

Enjoy a well-graded trail with breathtaking views of Kangaroo Island, The Pages Islands and Tunkalilla Beach. Watch out for dolphins at Boat Harbor Beach. The walk can be extended by walking the Boat Harbor Circuit Hike.


Wallowa Hike loop, Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park13.

Wallowa Hike loop, Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park

7.6km, 2-3 hours

The Wallowa Hike explores Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park, following part of the Heysen Trail, and includes some of the park’s interesting rock features.


Aaron Creek Circuit Hike14.

Aaron Creek Circuit Hike

6km, 3 hours

Explore the grasslands with views and kangaroos, before descending into Aaron Creek with its lush vegetation and winter waterfall. Take a picnic along to enjoy at the picnic table at Eagle Waterhole Campground.

A sidetrip option is to walk out to the rocky cove on the Aaron Creek Hike.


Dutchmans Stern Hike15.

Dutchmans Stern Hike

10.6km, 5 hours

Hike the prominent landmark bluff. Explore the rugged landscape by following the interpretive guide & map, featuring plants, animals and geology.


Jenkins Scrub Walking Trail16.

Jenkins Scrub Walking Trail

1.5km, 30-60 mins

Wander along this circuit trail, taking in part of the Heysen Trail, through some of the native scrub below Little Mount Crawford. During September and October experience plenty of wildflowers along the trail.


Heysen Trail South Coast17.

Heysen Trail South Coast

73km, 3-5 days

Not really a short walk, but a great way to experience the Heysen Trail. A 4-5 day highlight section along the south coast is spectacular, with good campsites along the way for multi-day hikers.